[bf1942] An Open Letter to the BF1942 Community

Lee Latham leeprivate at cgmlarson.com
Mon Oct 13 11:13:47 EDT 2003

I second that--I'd just start charging for your tools, at least the 
advanced ones.  Lotsa server admins who do it for a living would be more 
than happy to pay a few hundred bucks to save a few hundred hours of work!

Personally, I'm grateful for what you've done so far, I use the BFRM 1.4 
and it's fine for my personal (non-commercial) needs.  But the hardcore 
stuff, hey, add some more cool features, throw in some licensing, and go 
into business!

Believe me, I run the business side of a software company--you fail far 
more than you succeed in making pitches to any company.


At 04:06 PM 10/11/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>Hello Kevin,
>Like you, I too have spent an inordinate amount of time developing a tool
>for a popular FPS game and I understand your frustration.  I developed a
>tool for MOH:AA to help protect against TK'ers, among other things, and I
>received zero help from EA.  The developers I emailed gave me no help at all
>and didn't even bother to respond, all at a time when TK'ing, Team Wounding,
>and cheating were destroying the game I loved.  It made me angry that a
>company could bring such a wonderful product to market, yet turn its back on
>the very community that supported it.  You have every right to be upset at
>the way things are.  Having said that, I have to disagree with your approach
>to this situation.
>If you are doing this for the love of the game, then you should stop
>worrying about the money.  Being compensated monetarily for your work is not
>a bad thing, but then the matter becomes more than just your "love of the
>game".  Getting upset because you aren't getting paid sounds like sour
>grapes.  Trust me, you're not the first person to have a sales pitch denied
>by a large company.  If you really care about the community, then either
>turn over your source code and let the community help support your tool or
>simply charge people to use the tool just like game companies charge players
>for the games they make.  Just because DICE/EA won't bite at your offer
>doesn't mean the end of the road for your program.  You also need to realize
>that by dropping support for your tool, you are guilty of exactly the same
>thing for which you have indicted DICE/EA:  putting oneself above the good
>of the community.  Believe me, I know how hard you have had to work to get
>to where you are because I am a software developer by trade and have been
>writing code for over twenty years.  It takes a lot of time and effort and I
>don't mean to trivialize your contribution.  What you must decide is whether
>it is more important, you or the community.  After all, that's the same
>ultimatum you gave DICE/EA.
>It's also hypocritical of you to say, "DICE/EA is ripping off my utils in
>preference to supporting them" yet say a few sentences later, "Please keep
>your emails positive and constructive."  If you are truly looking to resolve
>this issue in an adult manner, you would be better off leading by example.
>Rhetoric like that diminishes the validity of your arguments and doesn't do
>anything except exacerbate the problem.  You also must have known that by
>writing to this list you would catch the attention of the developers.  You
>could've simply posted something on your web site.  Because you didn't, it's
>blatantly obvious that you wanted to snub the developers.  That wasn't a
>very tactful maneuver and leads other to believe that you are more
>interested in venting your frustration rather than being "positive and
>constructive".  Again, it appears as though this is more about you than the
>welfare of the BF1942 community.
>I've looked at both tools and I have to say that your tool's interface is
>completely different and provides much more functionality.  Their GUI is
>extremely basic when compared to yours.  If you are honestly saying that the
>buttons and list boxes they have in their program are a copy of your design,
>then I think you're letting your emotions get the better of you.  There
>aren't many other ways to graphically let people control their servers.
>Besides, your tool has considerably more features.  It would be like saying
>a Ford Taurus is a rip-off of a Ferrari because they both having steering
>wheels, four tires, and windshield wipers.  What your program does is what
>sets it apart from any other, not that it employs standard GUI components.
>I'm afraid your argument that they "ripped you off" is specious.
>It is true that they are developing a tool that does some of what yours
>does, but perhaps there is another possible angle you have not considered.
>If you were in charge of DICE/EA, most of your time would be spent creating
>the game and making sure it would be fun as well as profitable.  You might
>not focus the majority of your attention at first on developing a
>feature-rich tool for use by third-party server operators for managing their
>servers because there are issues with a much higher priority that need to be
>addressed.  What you would most likely do is create a program that would be
>functional, deferring future enhancements (like a rudimentary GUI) for a
>later date.  Once you had enough time, you would enhance your basic remote
>management program and make it more user-friendly.  After all, you wouldn't
>want to abdicate your responsibility to the community and rely solely on
>third-party software to fill that niche.  Since you already have a tool in
>place, it would make sense to use it as your code base rather than someone
>else's code.  Debugging your own code will always be easier than debugging
>someone else's, plus it's cheaper.  I'm not trying to stick up for DICE/EA,
>but I am trying to frame the issue without a bias one way or another.  I
>think that this could be a reasonable explanation based upon my own
>experience with matters such as this.  Whether or not it is the true
>explanation is still a question, however the example I have outlined
>illustrates that there may be another side to this story.
>I think you have done a great job with your program and I think a lot of
>people have benefited from your hard work.  For that, I believe you deserve
>a lot of credit.  Similarly, DICE has worked hard as well bringing their
>program to the community and they too deserve credit.  GameSpy said in their
>October 10th newsletter, "Battlefield:1942 hails as the new king of
>modifications on FilePlanet! Eight of the top ten mods belong to BF1942 and
>for good reason."  Both you and DICE have done some wonderful things.  No
>matter how compelling your argument or how useful your product is, big
>companies are not always going to listen to the little guy.  That's just the
>way the world works.  The sooner you realize that, the happier you will be.
>Don't let your frustration with them hurt the very community you profess to
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Kevin Lockitt" <kevlar at blackbagops.com>
>To: <bf1942 at icculus.org>
>Sent: Friday, October 10, 2003 10:10 PM
>Subject: [bf1942] An Open Letter to the BF1942 Community
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I have posted an important message to the BF1942 community regarding the
> > future of BFSM in the forums here;
> > http://www.blackbagops.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1249
> >
> > Kevin Lockitt
> > kevlar at blackbagops.com
> > www.blackbagops.com

Lee M. Latham
Vice Field Marshall Admiral Imperator Generalissimo of Sales and Support 
(muy importante)
+1 (713) 977-4177 x.103
lee at cgmlarson.com


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